It's exciting to be on the CDT, mostly because there are frequent trail markers in this area. Notches on trees, cairns, and even CDT blazes. Even though the trail fizzles out frequently, it's not completely cross-country walking.
The forest is lovely up here at 9,000 feet. The trees aren't too dense and pine needles carpet the ground. It's up and down on the divide all morning until after lunch when we leave the trail to find water.
A dirt road leads to a canyon where we scramble down and find several nice pools from Adobe Spring. We rehydrate and then walk down the canyon, following the wash instead of going all the way back to the trail. It seems faster that way, so we think. Then we climb up and over to another dry creekbed and follow that wash for a while. On the map it says that we're on a 'road'. But there is no road in sight. So it's cross-country all afternoon. Before we know it it's almost four o'clock and we can't tell that we've made much progress at all.
But eventually we wander out of the forest to find the cutest little dirt road. A quiet breeze welcomes us and now I can tell that it was all worth it just to be here. Cruising through the wilderness so easily. No bugs, the sun reflecting against red rocks in the distance, bunnies scampering away through tall grass. Sometimes road walks suck and sometimes they are awesome.
An ATV rumbles up eventually and the two young men stop and talk to us.
"We're just wasting our life away, drinking beer and driving this road." They tell us, before wrapping up the conversation and driving away.
Eventually I get tired of walking the road and secretly wish they would turn around to pick us up so that we could also drink beer and ride on the ATV. But one step leads to another and before I know it we're back on the trail.
We call it a day and set up camp right as the sun is going down.
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